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Virtual property auctions, Smart devices, growing your own, and the stress of moving home

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The release of the property market from its recent lockdown has seen a surge of interest in the homes we live in – whether as owners or tenants. Amongst the renewed interest in property-related news, the following snippets have emerged.

Virtual property auctions still popular

Sales of property by auction are gaining in popularity once again, according to a story published by Landlord Today on the 12th of June.

Homebuyers, investors, and prospective buy to let landlords have all expressed renewed interest in this way of acquiring property at competitive prices, with at least one auction house reporting online live streaming of its auctions attracting up to 1,000 viewers at a time.

Not only are those viewers making bids on properties, but they are also helping to keep prices high – often to the surprise and exceeding the expectations of auctioneers.

During May, the same auction house listed 202 properties for sale and sold 156 of them – a success rate of 77.2%. June is shaping up to exceed even those figures, with a sales success rate that already stands at more than 80%.

Are your Smart home devices about to stop working?

It’s all very well having your household devices connected to the internet of things, but what happens when the security certificates that normally protect them start to expire? The devices simply stop working.

That is the bleak and alarming prediction in a story published by TechRadar last week.

The article explains that devices in your home connect to the internet thanks to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols or certificates which encrypt the link between your device and the webserver. The certification protocol keeps your devices secure from external hacking.

TechRadar, however, argues that several device manufacturers have overlooked or been caught off guard by the fact that SSL certificates have expiry dates – many of which are currently looming.

To avoid such problems, you must make sure to download and install any updates to the operating systems of your devices.

More homeowners want to “grow their own”

After months of lockdown and being told to stay at home, it’s little wonder that homeowners are now leaping at the chance to get outside once again to undertake gardening and DIY projects, reported Sky News recently.

The surge in interest was confirmed by Property Wire on the 12th of June, which revealed how the pent-up demand for “Gardening DIY” had built up and risen by 57% during the lockdown months of February and March – only to be released now that many of the restrictions are being lifted.

“Grow your own vegetables”, for example, is the most frequently asked question – with online searches for the answer having increased by 81% in the last month alone.

Moving home is top of the stress level chart

You thought that getting married or having a baby were among life’s most stressful events. Moving home may have come a pretty close second.

The current pandemic, rules on social distancing and, recent reopening of the housing market have all contributed to pushing moving home to the top of that list of the most stressful experiences. It even beats the anxiety and confusion over Brexit!

That is the conclusion reached in a story by Property Reporter on the 11th of June.

Asked to rank – on a scale of 0 to 10 – how stressful they found moving home, 52% of survey respondents gave the experience a resounding 8 or above.

The most stressful part for 49% of movers was getting all the packing done. This was closely followed by getting the utilities connected, with 44% of movers having to spend 30 minutes or more on the telephone to each of the providers.